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Development of pulmonary dosage forms for improved antibacterial activity

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

"Conventional formulations for drug delivery to the lungs are limited to less than a few milligrams as a fine particle fraction. From a formulation perspective, the main challenge with the delivery of particles is their agglomeration as they leave the device, which affects flow properties, leading to most of the particles either becoming impacted in the back of the throat or not fully ejected from the device. One potential solution would be to form particles that are composed of a drug and carrier that will “guide” the particles deep inside the lungs. The properties of the carrier will be selected to match the drug properties so it will form a stable physical complex. The focus of this research is to deliver antibiotics to the lungs, which require the delivery of high doses of the drug to treat the infection. Hence, this approach can potentially maximise the dose that can be delivered to the lungs.
The aim is to enhance the physicochemical properties of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) by generating novel physical complexes (in particular, co-crystals) containing API with improved physicochemical properties for drug delivery purposes. This will involve exploring the impact of a range of formulations (such as solutions/emulsions/microemulsions) containing API and suitable excipients for complex/co-crystal formation during the drying process. In addition, simple to complex drying processes (e.g. spray drying, freeze-drying, controlled crystallization etc.) will be used to produce powders with desired properties that will then be subject to characterisation. A range of characterisation methods will be used such as differential scanning calorimetry, x-ray powder diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance and scanning electron microscopy. For in vitro assessment of deposition, the prepared formulations will be evaluated using a next generation impactor to simulate deposition in the lungs. The antibacterial activity will be assessed using Pseudomonas aeruginosa and biofilms with the aim of determining formulations that enhance antibacterial properties.
This research could lead to potential benefits, as follows:
• Novel technologies will be developed for the formulation of particles with enhanced physicochemical properties
• Improved understanding of particle engineering processes that could accelerate drug development programmes and expand industrial capabilities
• Improved antimicrobial activity of drugs

Funding Notes

Students with their own financial support are welcome to contact at anytime.


How good is research at University of Reading in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.20

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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